Duncan Glen, 1933-2008

Duncan Glen

Photo by Gerry Cambridge

My old friend Duncan Glen died yesterday morning. As a poet, publisher and man of letters, he was a major figure in the Scottish literary scene. As a young man he had met Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig, Sydney Goodsir Smith and many other significant Scottish writers, and ended up publishing many of them, using an old letterpress machine. A trained compositor, he became a master of typography and book design, which he taught at what is now Nottingham Trent University.

He founded Akros Publications as long ago as 1965, and up until a few months ago he was still actively publishing new pamphlets, and his magazine Zed2O, which published reviews, poetry and a wide range of articles on Scottish literature and culture. Like the man, it was unique.

He was a great encourager of new writers, and a friend to many others. He will be sorely missed. For a fuller biography please see the Akros website, which I built and maintained on his behalf.

He and I used to discuss many things – he was a great conversationalist – but one of the topics we came back to often was typography, and how the choice of typeface should reflect the needs of the individual publication. I have his textbook on the history of type, and it’s a thoroughly researched book with copious examples which made his points well.

He was an easy man to like, and a great one to have as a friend.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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2 Responses to Duncan Glen, 1933-2008

  1. apprentice says:

    I’m sorry that you’ve lost such a good friend Colin. Sad too that he seemed to be recovering only to be taken so quickly.

  2. Colin Will says:

    I missed Duncan’s funeral, as I was still in Paris, but I’ll be posting John Herdman’s fine eulogy on the Akros website in due course.

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